For immediate release | January 24, 2012

Carlson, Shutts win BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grants

CHICAGO — Erik Carlson , teen librarian at the White Plains (N.Y.) Public and Cynthia Shutts, teen librarian of the White Oak Library District, Romeoville (Ill.) Branch, won the 2011 BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant, administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Each receives a grant of $1,000, donated by BWI, for collection development. The grant recipients are YALSA members who represent a public library and work directly with young adults ages 12–18.

Carlson will use the grant to increase the e-book collection for teens. The teen advisory group will have direct input into what titles will be added.

“Downloadable digital materials are a growing service in libraries and are very valuable in keeping up with trends and showing teens that the library is still relevant in the digital age,” Carlson said. “By increasing the number of e-books we offer to teens, we hope to increase the number of teens who use the library, even if they do not have to come to the library to check them out.”

Shutts’s goal is to increase the fiction collection, purchasing a wide variety of materials that serve both dedicated and reluctant readers, including the diverse populations that the library serves. Shutts intends to use part of the grant to purchase more LGBTQ fiction and to purchase books that will appeal to Latino/a and African-American teens using the library.

“We would be able to develop a collection that represents the desires and interests of the teens we serve. Most importantly, we would demonstrate to teens we are listening to their feedback and care about their reading interests,” Shutts said. “Quality materials will mean the difference between a positive and fulfilling library experience, which will generate more return visits, and a negative experience of frequently having to tell a teen we don’t have the book they want on hand. We will be able to give teens the opportunity to take home a great book with every visit.”

The 2011 BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant Jury members are: Chair Sarah Wethern, Douglas County Library, Alexandria, Minn.; Claire O. Arnold, University of California–Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies; Faythe M. Arredondo, Tulare County Library, Visalia, Calif.; Bambi M. Mansfield, Crawford County Library System, Grayling, Mich.; and Tracy Reid Sumler, D.C. Public Library, Washington, D.C.

The application form and information for next year’s BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant are available on the YALSA Awards and Grants website, Applications must be received in the YALSA office by Dec. 1, 2012.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,

Related Links

YALSA Member Awards and Grants


Jaclyn Finneke

Marketing & Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)